Last year, I had a health scare. I am grateful to be doing okay today, but it made me stop and take stock of my life. I realized that I spent so much time worrying about little things – things that in the long run are not important. I decided that this year I would try to stay in the present and to appreciate every moment we have. How you spend each day, how you feel, and who you spend your time with should be a priority, because once the clock strikes midnight, you can’t take it back. I’m sure many of you sweat the small stuff – it’s hard not to. But if we could all just live in the present and make every moment count, wouldn’t that be time better spent?

I’ve seen a lot of people on social media talking about the same thing, so I hope this means I am on the right path  I was inspired by what Joanna Gaines shared on Instagram. She said: “I’m challenging myself in this new year to live for now. The present. Taking in every breath, every sight, and sound and holding it dearly.” I also loved what Gisele Bündchen wrote: “Time is our most precious gift, let’s not take it for granted. I want to work on being the best version of myself, to keep learning, growing, sharing and helping as much as I can.” And finally, I loved Oprah’s thoughts on living mindfully every day: “I have a real appreciation for every day that I wake up with a healthy mind and body.”

That’s the idea I am trying to keep with me this year. So, I thought I would share some tips I found to help me (and you) be more present in the new year.

1. Focus on what’s in front of you. Pay attention to what you’re doing instead of distracting yourself with your phone. Waiting in line? Look around. Eating dinner? Focus on how delicious your food tastes.
2. Be positive. It’s so easy to let little bumps in the road ruin the rest of your day when something doesn’t go as planned. But think to yourself, “Will this matter in a year?” If not, deal with the problem and keep moving forward.
3. Appreciate the little things. Stop and take stock of the in-betweens that we so often brush aside. Brushing your teeth, walking your dog, cooking your dinner – make them count and think about how important they are.
4. Create an un-plugged morning routine. I find that looking at my phone or checking the news first thing in the morning makes me stressed out before I’ve even had my coffee! Instead, take time in the morning to visualize the day ahead, sit and drink coffee or eat breakfast, and you’ll be ready to face the day head-on.
5. BREATHE! Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to meditate or create a morning routine or carve out some “me-time.” Just taking the time to stop and take a deep breath during the day will help you stay calm, present, and appreciate what you have and where you are.

I am very lucky. I have wonderful friends and family, and I cherish every moment with them. I am thankful to be able to lend a hand to American Humane and help those in need. I am grateful to spend my time doing something I love – producing Broadway shows for people to enjoy.

Here are some of my adorable grandchildren.
Here are some of my adorable grandchildren.
I love my friends!
I love my friends!
An American Humane event.
An American Humane event.
After Midnight on Broadway with Patti LaBelle, Dule Hill and friends.
After Midnight on Broadway with Patti LaBelle, Dule Hill and friends.

Even with all these blessings, I will remind myself this year to be even more grateful for the time I have on this earth. To enjoy my time more and be stressed less. Like Oprah said, each day I wake up with a healthy mind and body is precious. I hope these tips can help you and me find joy and peace in every moment this year.

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